Nick J. May 5, 2020
Valorant's beta is in full swing, and with its summer release window fast approaching, players better get a move on if they want to try all of Valorant's characters before the game releases.
Valorant has a solid distribution of characters available to players as soon as they get access to the game's closed beta test. Six characters are available from the beginning, each showing off a different class or style of class that the characters belong to.
What characters can players unlock in Valorant?
There are four agents that players can unlock in Valorant, and each one is a member of the four available classes. Six characters are already unlocked for play once a user is granted access to the closed beta, and they can give players a pretty good idea of how the classes operate.
Starting characters Brimstone and Omen are both Controllers, and they excel at either denying the enemy territory or gaining it anew for their team. Brimstone pushes with his area-denying abilities, while Omen's teleports and blinds can cause enemy players to retreat. Valorant's two default Duelists, Phoenix and Jett, are designed to take the fight to the enemy. Jett's movement abilities make her an excellent flanker, while Phoenix's healing and focus on map control put him on the frontline as a fighter.
The remaining two default characters, Sage and Sova, fill out the game's support catagories. As a Sentinal, Sage heals, slows, and has the ability to ressurect teammates, making her the classic support character. Sova's Initiator status makes him all about discovering new information. His arrows can either scope out the enemy or delay them long enough for rotations to come in from his teammates.
Here are the four other characters available for players to unlock, each one fitting into one of the above catagories:
- Sentinal - Cypher
- Initiator - Breach
- Duelist - Raze
- Controller - Viper
How do you unlock Cypher, Breach, Raze, and Viper?
Character unlocks in the beta are done through what Riot is calling "Contracts." These contracts are similar to the level system present in most battle passes, where a user gains experience points that level up the contract, granting cosmetic awards and unlocks for every level. In Valorant, each agent has a contract, and each contract has ten levels. Leveling up a contract to level five unlocks that contract's character for use in both Unraked and Competitive play. Levels one through four, as well as levels six through ten of each contract, award cosmetic items ranging from weapon charms to weapon skins themed around the contract's agent.
Like most battle passes, Riot has given users the choice of paying to unlock parts of the contract, but only up to level five. That means that users can pay real money to unlock the characters early, but won't be able to purchase the custom skins and charms found at a contract's higher levels.
Levels one through five go very quickly. At only 25,000 XP, even players who tend to struggle can unlock a character in under ten games. Levels six to ten, however, require a massive 125,000 XP, meaning that it will take much longer for players to get to level ten. It's unclear if these XP amounts are the final number that will be included when Valorant releases, but it's likely that the contracts will require a similar amount of XP at launch.
How do you start a contract in Valorant?
Each character's contract is located in the "Collection" tab on the main menu. The tab should default to the weapons screen when opened, but players can click another tab, labeled "Agents," that appears in the top-middle of the menu.
From the character screen, moving the slider over a locked character will hightlight the "Activate" button for that character. Clicking it makes that the active contract for the player, and any XP awarded after a match will go towards leveling up that characters contract.
Players don't have to use that character while the character is active, either. For example. if a player activates Sage's contract in order to get the cosmetic items that it unlocks, they don't have to play Sage. Any XP earned by any character goes towards the user's active contract.
From here, the player can view their progress on the chosen contract by clicking on the first circle icon on the top bar of the main menu. This will bring up the contract window, as well as information on how far the player is towards the next unlock.
Even though Valorant's closed beta doesn't do a great job explaining the contract mechanic, it's easily found by flipping around the game's main menu. Player beware, however. Riot hasn't which of Valorant's unlocks will carry over into the full game. So far, the developer hasn't said that any cosmetic items bought with in-game currency won't malke thier way to release. But with some gun buddies seemingly exlcusive to the beta, characters might well transfer.
Want to read more about Valorant? Former CSGO level designer and new Riot employee responded to player complaints about Valorant's maps, and you can read about it right here.